Saturday, September 6, 2008
#42 Drama Teams
A drama team is a group at church that acts out sketches during the service as a form of worship. Churches that boast drama teams are usually of the large, warehouse, non-denominational variety. The drama team performs its sketches during youth group to inspire chastity, witnessing, or the upcoming youth retreat. They also perform at church services during Christmas and Easter and the weeks preceding them. The performances take place during the service after the bulletin announcements but before the third hymn.
The Christmas or Easter sketch is a straightforward enactment of the modern western interpretation of Jesus getting born or killed. These are often called "pageants" and can include non-members of the drama team. (The type of person who will volunteer for pageants is often an, ahem, headstrong mother of several, or a retiree with a lot of time on his hands). These types of performances are very similar from one to the next. If they take place in a church that has the word Grace or Community in its name, the "actor" playing Jesus is invariably Caucasian.
The drama team operates under the assumption that its sketches engage people and that people can relate to the situations that are portrayed. A typical church drama sketch contains a few props (more than two but no greater than six) and someone knocking on an invisible door which is then answered by someone turning its invisible knob. The sketch will also have a hapless character who does not know about Christ's love (yet!) and copes by being either overtly rebellious or by floundering listlessly through life. Conversely, the sketch will also contains a triumphant character who is self-assured and secure because of Jesus and knows "beyond a shadow of a doubt" where he'll go when he dies. Doesn't the hapless person want this too? Hapless does and 98% of the time prays to receive Christ at the end of the sketch while the sanctuary lights dim and "Amen!" is randomly shouted by a few brave people in the audience.